How Do Tiny Houses Get Power? Connecting Your Tiny Home To The Electrical Grid

how do otiny houses get powerTiny houses take a page from RVs when it comes to getting power. You have three main options: be fully connected to the electrical power grid, go fully off the grid, or to use a hybrid approach.

Whatever way you get power into your tiny house, it will take some planning and jumping through hoops when it comes to codes. With all of these recommendations, I’d strongly encourage hiring a licensed electrician.

Also check out the more detailed posts on tiny house electrical.

*Disclaimer: Keep in mind that if you wire your own tiny house, you’re assuming all risks. It is suggested that you hire an electrician and consult local, state, and federal officials for all safety measures and code compliance. See our full legal page for further information here:

Connecting Your Tiny House To Power – Standard Method

connecting your tiny house to power grid

The easiest method to connect your tiny home to power is similar to how RVs get power, which is through an extension cord. You’ll want to use a drop power cord sized for a 50-amp circuit. While you could go smaller, it’s suggested that you plan to have a full 50-amp circuit for some buffer and future expansion.

Power Grid To Electrical Meter

power grid to electrical meter

The power from the power company will be fed from the grid through your electrical meter to your main box. This is the most difficult part because it is the focal point of the permitting process. For stand-alone power, you may be able to get a temporary power pole for a while, but at some point, you’ll need to convert to a permanent connection.

The easiest way to do this is to have another house on the property that’s already connected to the grid. Barring that, figure out a way to have “an excuse” to have power on the property before you have your tiny house there. Things that I know have worked for people in the past are having a power connection for a powered gate, a security light on a pole, or a little shed that you need power in that they can connect up.

tiny house electrical

Tiny House Power Connection

Tiny House Power Connection

tiny house power connectionOnce you have power on site, you’re going to want to connect your tiny house to that power source. To do this practically, use an RV-style plug connector like the one below. These are very affordable and allow you to make a custom length drop cord for your tiny home.

Another great thing about these is that they’re seen as a “temporary” power connection by building codes, which makes navigating building codes and electrical codes much easier.

Connecting Your Tiny House To Power – Off-Grid Method

connecting your tiny house to off grid power

This option is most realistic if you’re not moving a lot. To power your entire tiny house, you’ll need a lot of solar panels. As someone who has lived off the grid for close to a decade, believe me when I say it’s not without its downsides. I get into all the details in the below posts:

tiny house solar power setup
how to run ac on solar power

Connecting A Tiny House To Solar Power

Connecting A Tiny House To Solar Power

This is going to be identical to the standard method above with the only difference being that instead of the power coming from the power grid, you are your own power grid. It’s important to note that your solar panel array will produce power in DC (direct current) and will need to be converted by an inverter to AC (alternative current). From there, it will output the energy into a single line which will connect to your tiny house via the RV extension cord.


tiny house solar setup

Connecting Your Tiny House To Power – Hybrid Method

This method is essentially the best of both worlds, but does require some extra work and thus extra expense. In general, I’d say this method isn’t for the DIYer and that you should loop in a licensed electrician because it gets pretty complex quickly.
To do this, you’ll have to have your traditional power grid source and your solar power source set up. Both of those will feed into a net meter power meter, and from there the power will output from the meter into your tiny house.

Your Turn!

  • How do you plan to get power in your tiny house?

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